From original article at Sky News by By Dan Salisbury-Jones
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A huge policing operation involving an estimated 1,000 officers has been staged in Newcastle city centre as officers kept the peace between the English Defence League and opposing protest groups.
Our reporters saw firecrackers and glass bottles being thrown by the EDL in the Bigg Market area as they were held back by lines of police, but the rival groups were kept apart and under control.
A number of arrests were made for public order and alcohol offences.
Police estimate between 1,500 and 2,000 far-right EDL supporters travelled from across the UK to converge on Newcastle for the parade.
A counter march led by anti-fascist group Newcastle Unites attracted around 400 demonstrators, police said.
Also on the streets were 10 police horses on loan from the West Yorkshire Force, including Bud, who was punched by a Newcastle United fan following the Tyne-Wear derby match in April.
He was on duty close to Central Station and was showing no ill effects following the attack, with well-wishers stroking and patting him as he made his first return to the streets of Newcastle.
Three people were arrested ahead of the event, on suspicion of posting racist remarks on Twitter, and are in police custody.
Some businesses took the decision to close as EDL supporters gathered near Central Station.
Pink Lane Coffee tweeted: “We’re shutting for the rest of the day, sorry guys. Not wanting to but need to look after the shop and our staff.”
The march took place as tensions run high in the wake of the horrific murder of solider Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday May 22.
The killing has prompted a huge increase in anti-Muslim incidents, according to the organisation Faith Matters, which works to reduce extremism.
The Newcastle EDL demonstration was called months before the Woolwich atrocity, which was followed by a spontaneous EDL gathering close to the scene and clashes with police.
Some roads were closed in Newcastle as the two marches passed through the city from opposite directions, finishing around 100 yards apart at the junction of Bigg Market and Newgate Street around 2pm.
Many in the Newcastle Unites protest chanted: “Nazi scum, off our streets.”
A man who appeared to be wearing British Army desert fatigues was given a rousing reception when he showed EDL supporters a flag of St George printed with the words RIP Lee Rigby.
Northumbria Police say the operation was a success.